The 2021 campaign enters its home stretch this weekend with the Algarve Grand Prix, before the Valencia GP next week brings the curtain down on the season.
Yamaha’s Quartararo has already been crowned world champion, after finishing fourth in the previous Emilia Romagna GP, while Bagnaia crashed from the lead to seal the Frenchman his first MotoGP title.
Though Ducati and Yamaha still have the teams’ and constructors’ championships to decide, Bagnaia says his main hope is to have a proper duel with Quartararo in the final two races.
“For sure, these two races will be nice to do because now Fabio doesn’t have any pressure because he already won the championship,” Bagnaia said on Thursday in Portugal. “So, I would really like to have a fight with him, but not like in Misano [Quartararo chased down Bagnaia in the San Marino GP in September but couldn’t overtake] starting together and fighting together would be nice
“These are two tracks that are different, because in this track I was almost in April, and in Valencia I’ve never been fast in my life. I would like to be almost there and I’m still to understand how to do it.”
Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team, crash
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Reflecting on the end of his 2021 title hopes, Bagnaia says he is more frustrated about crashing out of the Emilia Romagna GP because he lost a likely race win, rather than what it meant for his championship.
“Yes, it’s more because I lost a race than the championship, because I’m sure Fabio was deserving this championship more,” he added. “I was a lot of points behind and also if I was winning the race at Misano, now I’d be with like 36 points [disadvantage].
“With 36 points, he have a lot of possibilities to win a title still. But in any case, I tried [my] all. It was not our objective to win the championship this year because I was arriving from two very difficult seasons, my first two years in MotoGP I struggled a lot.
“This year I learned a lot, I grew with the team and this last part of the season I was fighting for the championship, but I was too far behind.”